Last week’s riding diary entry: Riding Diary Week One. * This week’s entry is a day late, I forgot to post it last night, but it does have yesterday’s date. (4-12-17)
Gentle breezes blew through the barn doors and the smell of horses fills your nostrils as you walk in. Horses swish their tails impatiently as they wait inside their stalls to be able to go out.
Two new horses, Nick and Victory, had arrived just a few days ago and so they are on quarantine. Simon, a 16+ HH solid black Tennesee Walker, and Buck, a smaller buckskin Rocky Mountain Horse, waited for their turn out in pasture because Nick and Victory were in the neighboring field.
When horses are on quarantine at the barn, they are kept in their stalls at night and put out in the field in the morning while the neighboring horses are in. They rotate who is in the pastures so they don’t touch noses and possibly transmit diseases. The horses are usually kept on quarantine or 2 weeks.
Avery’s nostril poked through the bars on his stall and it flared with steady breaths. His brown, always worried eyes glittered from the light in his stall. He knew what day it was and seemed to understand it was time to go get groomed out.
I rubbed circles on his neck with the curry comb, his winter coat falling to the ground. Avery’s summer coat is coming in nicely and he looks more and more like a shiny penny. I could’ve made another horse with all the hair I took off of him!
Autumn rode Luna for her lesson again today. Our instructor (and Luna’s owner), Miss Kim, lunged Luna while Autumn practiced posting the trot. Autumn has been working on the posting trot for about 3 lessons now and has picked it up pretty quickly. With just a few more lessons, she should be able to ride just on the wall at a trot.
After untacking Luna, we swapped saddles. Avery uses saddle G at the barn and so does Luna. Saddle G is an old dressage saddle that was donated to the barn a long time ago. I put my hunter green Roma saddle pad on his back, followed by the black fleece half pad.
Avery wasn’t as forward in the beginning of my lesson than he was towards the end of it. He barely picked up his feet in the walk and his trot wasn’t as bouncy as it normally is. We set a ground pole on quarter-line by B to practice trotting over.
We worked on more 10, 15 and 20 metre circles by A and C and some on our trot-canter transitions. Our transitions were a little bit better than last week, but I definitely would like to improve on them more.
Several weeks ago, we started working on posting diagonals. But, we dropped that after a while because there were some other things I needed to improve on before we continued.
“Rise and fall with the leg on the wall!” Is the phrase that will be forever stuck in my mind when posting diagonals, thanks to this lesson. I looked down for a few minutes to watch for his left leg stepping forward (we were going clockwise) as he trotted. I rose and fell with the leg on the wall, then crossing diagonals from H to F.
As we crossed the middle, I sat for two beats to change my posting to the opposite diagonal. Turning my right shoulder in to turn the corner instead of pulling my rein far out to my hip, we rounded the corner between F and A.
Later, we worked on posting diagonals as we did 3-loop serpentines. We started at C, then went to M, then between E and H, sat two beats, then to F, then turning my right shoulder in. We trotted a lap, then worked on another serpentine from A, to K, to B then between E and H.
When we finished up our serpentine drills, we worked on our circles again, but turning to go to the ground pole. Avery was very excited (and so was I) about trotting over the ground pole again.
We have been trotting over ground poles and my homework was to canter over them after my lessons. In fact, my friend who works at the barn is going to jump Avery over cross rails just to get him back into the swing of things, because Miss Kim said we’re going to be jumping over small cross rails in my lesson next week!
We ended my lesson like we did last week by circling the hay barn. Avery enjoyed being outside, but eyed the skid loader like he’s never seen it before. But, he stayed calm and continued to walk.
Avery and I enjoyed our lesson today and he was a very, very good boy in his lesson with his little rider that night. He gobbled up several treats by the time everybody left the barn and when I turned him out, he looked for treats before taking off to the top of the field where one of the stablehands was throwing hay.
Surprisingly enough, Avery wasn’t picking on poor Bear when we left. The horses were happily eating their hay and chilling out with their pasture-mate as they ate. They swished their tails to get rid of unwanted, pesky flies that bit at their hides.
We said our goodbyes as we drove down the long driveway and returned home.
Neville’s little whinnies filled my ears and a smile grew across my face. He was informing me that it was almost feeding time and I needed to get my butt out there to feed him. Go figure.